Who is Satan? Many believe he’s merely a mythical figure, but the Bible says that he is very real and that he is determined to deceive you and destroy your life. Indeed, this brilliant but cruel mastermind is so much more than what you have been told. He’s entrapping individuals, families, churches, and even entire nations to increase sorrow and pain in this world. Here are the Bible’s amazing facts about this dark prince and how you can overcome him!
1. With whom did sin originate?
“The devil has sinned from the beginning” (1 John 3:8).
“That serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan” (Revelation 12:9)
Answer: Satan, who is also called the devil, is the originator of sin. Without the Bible, the origin of evil would remain unexplained.
2. What was Satan's name before he sinned? Where was he living?
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” (Isaiah 14:12).
“[Jesus] said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven’ ” (Luke 10:18).
“You were on the holy mountain of God” (Ezekiel 28:14).
Answer: Satan’s name was Lucifer, and he was living in heaven. Lucifer is also symbolized by the “king of Babylon” in Isaiah 14 and as the “prince of Tyre” in Ezekiel 28.
3. What was Lucifer’s origin? How does the Bible describe him?
“You were created” (Ezekiel 28:15).
“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. … Every precious stone was your covering. … The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. … You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:12, 13, 15).
“You were the anointed cherub who covers … you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones” (Ezekiel 28:14).
Answer: Lucifer was created by God, as were all the other angels (Ephesians 3:9). Lucifer was a “covering” cherub, or angel. One covering angel stands on the left side of God’s throne and another on the right (Psalm 99:1). Lucifer was one of these highly exalted angels and was a leader. Lucifer’s beauty was flawless and breathtaking. His wisdom was perfect. His brightness was awe-inspiring. Ezekiel 28:13 seems to indicate that he was specially created to be an outstanding musician. Some scholars believe he led the angelic choir.
4. What happened in Lucifer's life that led him to sin? What sin did he commit?
“Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor” (Ezekiel 28:17).
“You have said in your heart: … ‘I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; … I will be like the Most High’ ” (Isaiah 14:13, 14).
Answer: Pride, jealousy, and discontent arose in Lucifer’s heart. He soon began to desire to unseat God and to demand that everyone worship him instead.
Note: Why is worship such an important thing? It is the key factor in the ongoing conflict between God and Satan. People were created to be happy and fulfilled when we worship only God. Not even the angels of heaven are to be worshiped (Revelation 22:8, 9). Satan selfishly sought this worship due only to God. Centuries later, when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, worship was still his central desire and a key test (Matthew 4:8–11). Now, in these last days, as God calls upon all people to worship Him (Revelation 14:6, 7), this so infuriates Satan that he will try to force people to worship himself or else be killed (Revelation 13:15). Everybody worships someone or something: power, prestige, food, pleasure, possessions, etc. But God says, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). Like Lucifer, we have a choice about whom we worship. If we choose to worship anyone or anything other than the Creator, He will honor our choice, but we will be counted against Him (Matthew 12:30). If anything or anyone other than God receives first place in our lives, we will end up following in Satan’s footsteps. Does God have first place in your life—or are you serving Satan? It is a sobering question, isn’t it?
5. What happened in heaven as a consequence of Lucifer’s sin?
“War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7–9).
Answer: Lucifer deceived a third of the angels (Revelation 12:3, 4) and caused a rebellion in heaven. God had no choice but to cast out Lucifer and the other fallen angels, because Lucifer’s aim was to usurp God’s throne even if it meant murder (John 8:44). After his expulsion from heaven, Lucifer was called Satan, meaning “adversary,” and the devil, meaning “slanderer.” The angels who followed Satan were called demons.
6. Where is Satan’s present headquarters? How does he feel about people?
“The Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it’ ” (Job 2:2).
“Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12).
“Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Answer: Contrary to widespread belief, Satan’s headquarters is the earth, not hell. God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26). When they sinned, they lost this dominion to Satan (Romans 6:16), who then became ruler, or prince, of the earth (John 12:31). Satan despises humans, who were created in God’s image. Since he can’t harm God directly, he directs his anger against God’s children on the earth. He’s a hateful murderer whose aim is to destroy you and, thus, hurt God.
7. When God created Adam and Eve, what did He ask them not to do? What did He say would be the result of disobedience?
“Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17).
Answer: Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The penalty for eating the fruit from this tree was to be death.
Note: Remember that God created Adam and Eve with His own hands and placed them in a beautiful garden where they could enjoy eating from every kind of tree (Genesis 2:7–9)—except just one. It was God’s gracious way of giving them a fair choice. By trusting God and not eating of the forbidden tree, they would live forever in paradise. By choosing to listen to Satan, they chose to run away from the Source of all life—God—and, naturally, experienced death.
8. How did Satan deceive Eve? What lies did he tell her?
“The serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” ’ … Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’ ” (Genesis 3:1, 4, 5, emphasis added).
Answer: Satan used a serpent—one of the wisest and most beautiful animals God had made—to deceive Eve. Some scholars believe the serpent originally had wings and flew (Isaiah 14:29; 30:6). Remember, it did not crawl until God cursed it (Genesis 3:14). Satan’s lies were: (1) you won’t die, and (2) eating the fruit will make you wise. Satan, who invented lying (John 8:44), mixed truth with the lies he told Eve. Lies that include some truth are the most effective deceptions. It was true they would “know evil” after sinning. In love, God had withheld from them the knowledge of evil, which includes heartache, grief, suffering, pain, and death. Satan made the knowledge of evil appear attractive, telling lies to misrepresent God’s character because he knows that people will be more likely to turn away from a loving God if they misunderstand His character.
9. Why was eating a piece of fruit such a bad thing that Adam and Eve were removed from the garden?
“To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4).
“Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’ … He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:22, 24).
10. What does the Bible reveal about Satan’s methods to hurt, deceive, discourage, and destroy people?
Answer: The Bible reveals that Satan uses every conceivable approach to deceive and destroy people. His demons can pose as righteous people. And Satan will one day appear as a glorious angel of light with power to call fire down from heaven. He will even impersonate Jesus. But you have been warned, so don’t fall for it. When Jesus comes, every eye will see Him (Revelation 1:7). He will remain in the clouds and will not touch the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
|The Bible Says Satan:|
|Deceives / persecutes (Revelation 12:9, 13)||Quotes/misquotes Bible (Matthew 4:5, 6)|
|Falsely accuses / murders (Revelation 12:10; John 8:44)||Traps / devours (2 Timothy 2:26; 1 Peter 5:8)|
|Makes war against God's people (Revelation 12:17)||Binds / prompts betrayal (Luke 13:16; John 13:2, 21)|
|Imprisons (Revelation 2:10)||Possesses / hinders (Luke 22:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 2:18)|
|Works miracles / lies (Revelation 16:13, 14; John 8:44)||Appears as angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)|
|Brings disease / afflicts (Job 2:7)||Has demons who impersonate pastors (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)|
|Slanders ("Devil" means "slanderer")||Calls fire from heaven (Revelation 13:13)|
11. How effective are Satan’s temptations and strategies?
Satan convinced: one third of the angels (Revelation 12:3–9); Adam and Eve (Genesis 3); all but eight people in Noah’s day (1 Peter 3:20). Almost the entire world follows him instead of Jesus (Revelation 13:3). Many will be forever lost because of his lies (Matthew 7:14; 22:14).
Answer: Satan’s success rate is so astoundingly high that it is almost unbelievable. He deceived a third of God’s angels. In Noah’s day, all but eight people on the earth were deceived. Before Jesus comes the second time, Satan will appear as an angelic being, posing as Christ. His deceptive power will be so great that our only safety will be in refusing to go see him (Matthew 24:23–26). If you refuse to listen to him, Jesus will protect you from Satan’s deceptions (John 10:29). (For more on Jesus’ second coming, see Study Guide 8.)
12. When and where will the devil receive his punishment? What will that punishment be?
“So it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire” (Matthew 13:40–42).
“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone” (Revelation 20:10).
“Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
“I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. … You … shall be no more forever” (Ezekiel 28:18, 19).
Note: It is not possible to adequately describe the anguish God will feel when Satan, His own creation, is cast into this fire. How painful this will be not only for those cast into the fire, but for the One who created them in love to begin with. (For more on hell, see Study Guide 11.)
13. What finally settles the horrible problem of sin? Will it ever rise up again?
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11; see also Philippians 2:10, 11; Isaiah 45:23).
“Affliction will not rise up a second time” (Nahum 1:9).
Answer: Two crucial happenings will settle the sin problem:
First, all beings in heaven and earth, including the devil and his demons, will of their own free choice kneel before God and openly confess that He is truthful, fair, and righteous. No questions will remain unanswered. All sinners will admit that they are lost because of their refusal to accept God’s love and salvation. They will all confess that they deserve eternal death.
Second, sin will be purged from the universe by the permanent destruction of all those who choose it: the devil, the demons, and people who have followed them. God’s Word is clear on this point; sin will never again arise to harm His creation or His people.
14. Who makes the final, complete eradication of sin from the universe a certainty?
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).
Answer: Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus made the eradication of sin a certainty.
15. How does God really feel about people?
“The Father Himself loves you” (John 16:27; see also John 3:16; 17:22, 23).
Answer: God the Father loves people as much as Jesus does. Jesus’ key aim in life was to demonstrate His Father’s character so that people would know how loving, warm, and caring the Father really is (John 5:19).
Satan Misrepresents the Father
Satan misrepresents God as unfeeling, aloof, exacting, stern, and unapproachable. The devil even labels his own ugly, calamitous violence as “acts of God.” Jesus came to wipe off this slander from His Father’s name and to demonstrate that the heavenly Father loves us even more than a mother loves her child (Isaiah 49:15). Jesus’ favorite theme was God’s patience, tenderness, and abundant mercy.
The Father Can Hardly Wait
For the sole purpose of making you happy, our heavenly Father has prepared a fabulous eternal home for you. Your wildest dreams here on earth are no match for what He has waiting for you! He can hardly wait to welcome you. Let’s get the word out! And let’s be ready, because it won’t be long now!
16. Do you feel it is good news that God the Father loves you as much as Jesus does?
Your Questions Answered
1. Was the fruit that Adam and Eve ate an apple?
Answer: We do not know. The Bible does not say.
2. Where did the concept originate that portrays the devil as a red, half-man and half-beast with horns and tail?
Answer: It comes from pagan mythology, and this misconception pleases the devil. He knows rational people reject monsters as fables and so will be led to deny his existence. Those who do not believe in a devil are more easily captured by his deceptions.
3. God said to Adam and Eve, “In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Why didn’t they die that day?
Answer: The literal rendition of the word "die" in Genesis 2:17 is "dying you will die," which is noted in the margin of most Bibles. It means that Adam and Eve would enter into the process of dying. Before sinning, the couple possessed an undying, sinless nature. This nature was perpetuated by eating of the tree of life. At the moment of sin, their natures changed to dying, sinful natures. This is what God told them would happen. Because they were barred from the tree of life, decay and deterioration—leading ultimately to death—began immediately. The grave became a certainty for them. The Lord stressed this later when He said to them, "For dust you are, and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19).
4. But since He created Lucifer, isn’t God really responsible for his sin?
Answer: Not at all. God created Lucifer a perfect, sinless angel. Lucifer made a devil of himself. Freedom to choose is a cornerstone principle of God’s government. God knew Lucifer would sin when He created him. If at that point God had refused to create Lucifer, He would have been repudiating one of His own characteristics of love; that is, the freedom to choose.
Freedom of Choice Is God’s Way
Knowing full well what Lucifer would do, God still created him. He did the same for Adam and Eve—and for you! God knew before you were born how you would live, but even so, He permits you to live so you can choose Him or the devil. God is willing to be misunderstood and falsely accused while taking time to allow every person to freely choose whom he or she will follow.
Only a Loving God Would Risk Granting Full Freedom for All
This glorious and crucial gift of freedom could come only from a just, transparent, and loving God. It is an honor and a joy to serve such a Creator, Lord, and Friend!
Choose to Serve God
The sin problem will soon end. In the beginning, everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Now “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). People everywhere are choosing to serve God or Satan. Please use your God-given freedom to choose to serve the Lord!
5. Why didn’t God destroy Lucifer when he sinned and therefore end the problem immediately?
Answer: Because sin was something completely new in God’s creation and its inhabitants did not understand it. It’s likely that even Lucifer did not fully comprehend it at first. Lucifer was a brilliant, highly respected angelic leader. His approach might have been as one greatly concerned for heaven and the angels. His message might have gone like this: “Heaven is good, but it would be improved with more angel input. Too much unchallenged authority, as the Father has, tends to blind leaders to real life. God knows my suggestions are correct, but He is feeling threatened. We must not permit our leader, who is out of touch, to jeopardize our happiness and place in heaven. God will listen if we move in unison. We must act. Otherwise, we will all be ruined by a government that doesn’t appreciate us.”
One Third of the Angels Joined Lucifer (Revelation 12:3, 4)
Lucifer’s arguments convinced many angels, and a third joined him in rebellion. If God had destroyed Lucifer immediately, some angelic beings who did not fully understand God’s character might have begun to obey God through fear rather than love, saying, “Could Lucifer have been right after all? We’ll never know now. Be careful. If you even question God about His government, He might kill you.” Nothing would have been settled in the minds of God’s created beings if He had destroyed Lucifer immediately.
God Desires Only Loving, Voluntary Service
The only service God desires is cheerful, voluntary service prompted by genuine love. He knows that obedience motivated by anything else, such as fear, is ineffective and will eventually lead to sin.
God Is Giving Satan Time to Demonstrate His Principles
Satan claims he has a better plan for the universe. God is giving him time to demonstrate his principles. The Lord will abolish sin only after every soul in the universe is convinced of the truth—that Satan’s government is unfair, hateful, ruthless, lying, and destructive.
The Universe Is Watching This World
The Bible says, “We have been made a spectacle [some margins say “theater”] to the world, both to angels and to men” (1 Corinthians 4:9). The entire universe is watching as we each play a part in the controversy between Christ and Satan. As the controversy ends, every soul will fully understand the principles of both kingdoms and will have chosen to follow either Christ or Satan. Those who have chosen to ally with Satan will be destroyed with him for the safety of the universe, and God’s people will finally be able to enjoy the eternal safety of their home in paradise.
1. With whom did sin originate? (1)
2. Where was Lucifer living when he first sinned? (1)
_____ On the earth.
_____ In heaven.
_____ On the North Star.
3. Check the items that once described Lucifer: (6)
_____ Created angel.
_____ Full of wisdom.
_____ Rode a heavenly white horse.
_____ Perfect in his ways.
_____ Keeper of heaven's gate.
_____ Outstanding musician.
_____ Perfect in beauty.
_____ Covering cherub.
4. Mark the items that tell the truth about Lucifer's rebellion: (5)
_____ He was cast out of heaven.
_____ He repented and stayed in heaven.
_____ He hid inside a palace.
_____ His name became Satan.
_____ He was the first sinner.
_____ Jesus saw him being cast out.
_____ One-third of the angels fell with him.
5. What did Lucifer want? (2)
_____ To be worshiped.
_____ To unseat God and take His place.
_____ To fly across the entire universe.
6. Check the items that are true about the devil, Satan: (4)
_____ He is red with horns and hooves.
_____ His home is in hell.
_____ He loves people.
_____ He can appear as a heavenly angel.
_____ He cannot work miracles.
_____ He's a liar and a murderer.
_____ He can call down fire from heaven.
_____ Most people will follow him and be lost.
7. Which of the items below are true about the fall of Adam and Eve? (3)
_____ Satan was disguised as an angel.
_____ Satan called God a liar.
_____ We know Satan gave them apples.
_____ Satan came to Adam first.
_____ Satan hoped they would become immortal sinners.
_____ In tempting them, Satan mixed lies and truth.
8. What is true about Satan's final punishment? (4)
_____ He will be thrown into the fire.
_____ His angels will escape.
_____ The fire will be in heaven.
_____ Satan and his angels will admit they were wrong.
_____ Sinners will be cast into the lake of fire.
_____ Satan will confess God's justice.
9. Why didn't God kill Lucifer when he sinned? (4)
_____ Angels might misunderstand.
_____ Some might be afraid of God.
_____ Lucifer was too strong for God.
_____ The good angels would not let Him.
_____ Time was needed to demonstrate Lucifer's plan.
_____ Time was needed to vindicate God's plan.
10. What one thing will finally vindicate God's government? (1)
_____ God will work some miracles.
_____ Every soul in the universe will kneel, confessing God's love and justice.
_____ The angels of heaven will ask everyone to serve God.
11. What facts below are true about sin? (5)
_____ Jesus has made sin's destruction certain.
_____ Sin is breaking God's law.
_____ Sin separates us from God.
_____ Sin is easy to overcome.
_____ Satan invented the sin of lying.
_____ Once destroyed, sin will not rise up again.
12. Which items below are true? (5)
_____ Satan attributes his traits to God.
_____ God loves us more than our parents do.
_____ So-called "acts of God" are acts of Satan.
_____ Jesus' life revealed God's character.
_____ God the Father is stern.
_____ Most people misunderstand God.
13. I am pleased to know the Father loves me as much as Jesus does.